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AIM

10/12/17

4

−3−3

Airport Operations

airspeed requires or for practice power

−off landings

(autorotation) and if local policy permits. Landings
not to the runway must avoid the flow of fixed wing
traffic.

b.

A pilot may vary the size of the traffic pattern

depending on the aircraft’s performance characteris-
tics. Pilots of en route aircraft should be constantly
alert for aircraft in traffic patterns and avoid these
areas whenever possible.

c.

Unless otherwise indicated, all turns in the

traffic pattern must be made to the left, except for
helicopters, as applicable.

d.

On Sectional, Aeronautical, and VFR Terminal

Area Charts, right traffic patterns are indicated at
public

−use and joint−use airports with the abbrevia-

tion “RP” (for Right Pattern), followed by the
appropriate runway number(s) at the bottom of the
airport data block.

EXAMPLE

RP 9, 18, 22R

NOTE

1. Pilots are encouraged to use the standard traffic
pattern. However, those pilots who choose to execute a
straight

−in approach, maneuvering for and execution of

the approach should not disrupt the flow of arriving and
departing traffic. Likewise, pilots operating in the traffic
pattern should be alert at all times for aircraft executing
straight

−in approaches.

REFERENCE

AC 90

−66B, Non−Towered Airport Flight Operations

2. RP* indicates special conditions exist and refers pilots
to the Chart Supplement U.S.

3. Right traffic patterns are not shown at airports with
full

−time control towers.

e.

Wind conditions affect all airplanes in varying

degrees. Figure 4-3-4 is an example of a chart used to
determine the headwind, crosswind, and tailwind
components based on wind direction and velocity
relative to the runway.  Pilots should refer to similar
information provided by the aircraft manufacturer
when determining these wind components.

9/13/18

AIM